The diabetes drugs containing saxagliptin and alogliptin may be linked to heart failure and other physical complications including shortness of breath, tiredness, and weakness. This is especially a risk for patients with heart or kidney disease, U.S. health officials warned last month.
Drugs containing these ingredients are Onglyza, Kombiglyza XR, Nesina, Kazano, and Oseni, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
However the FDA claimed that people with type 2 diabetes who use the above drugs should not stop taking them without discussing with their doctor.
Patients on these drugs should contact their doctor immediately, especially is they develop the following signs and symptoms of heart failure:
Unusual shortness of breath even during daily activities
Difficulty breathing when lying down
Weakness or fatigue
Weight gain and swelling of the angles, feet, stomach, or legs
The FDA stated that they’re adding new warnings to the drug labels about these safety risks.
The drugs saxagliptin and alogliptin are in a class of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, which are used to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.
The FDA said that many patients taking saxagliptin and alogliptin were hospitalized for heart failure.
In the saxagliptin trial, 3.5 percent of patients taking the drug were hospitalized for heart failure. Risk factors included a heart health history or kidney failures, the FDA states.
In the alogliptin trial, 3.9 percent of patients taking the drug were hospitalized for heart failure.
Despite the drug’s damaging side effects to some patients, there’s some research that points that DPP-4 inhibitors weaken cardiovascular problems in other patients, according to Dr. Minisha Sood.
Sood explained that future studies are needed to determine if DPP-4 is a ‘class effect’ which applies to all drugs in the DPP-4 inhibitor category or only saxagliptin and alogliptin.
For now, it’s advised that patients discuss any symptoms or side effects with their health care providers before switching medications, Sood added.
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